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My African Journey, first published in 1908, documents his travels and the people he met; he waxes lyrical on the natural beauty of Uganda and goes on to explore Egypt and Sudan via the White Nile.
More than a travelogue however, Churchill, now in his 30s, turns his attention towards issues of government and development, suggesting that the best way to tap the latent wealth of East Africa was the development of the railway system.
His thoughts on settlement, race and government provide an intriguing insight into contemporary imperialism and African history and fascinating listening for both Churchill enthusiasts and those interested in the historical relationship between Britain and its colonies towards the end of the British Empire.
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By Jean on 01-23-16
A Step Back in Time
I was most interested in reading Churchill’s fabulous descriptions of the countryside and the insects, birds and animals he encountered. He gave beautiful descriptions of both the Uganda Railway and the Victoria and Albert Railway. His mastery of the English language along with the interesting 19th Century writing style makes reading the book just like stepping into history.
Churchill was the Under-secretary of State for the Colonies when he undertook the journey of East Africa in 1907. I know that Churchill was one of the last men of the British Empire and he never quite accepted the fall of the Empire after the war. Therefore, I found it most interesting to see the African colonies from his colonist viewpoint. The so-called modern viewpoint is so different from how the British saw the world in the 1890’s early 1900’s.
Churchill’s descriptions of the beauty of the area around Mount Kenya, Murchison Falls, Kampala, the Riff Valley and the White Nile were beautiful; it is sad to think how it has all changed. The book is short and a most interesting read. Stephen Thorne did an excellent job narrating the book.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful